Taking a Discovery Flight | What is it and what to Expect

Taking a flight can be one of the most exciting adventures. While you wait for that moment, you can know what it feels and look like to take a flight, and Taking a discovery Flight can help you achieve that. Here is what it feels like to take a discovery flight.

People take exploration flights to learn what it’s like to fly, to see if it’s something they want to chase, and sometimes to know the area (although some companies make a distinction between discovery flights and sightseeing flights like a city tour ) Make sure your expedition gets what you intend to do.)

If you are interested in finding out what to expect during your discovery flight, this article is detailed to provide that information.

What is a Discovery Flight?

A discovery flight, often referred to as an introductory flight, is exactly what it sounds like: a flight where a person who has never flown can try it for the first time. Discovery flights are often discounted and are an excellent option for someone wondering whether to get a private pilot’s license.

What should I expect during a Discovery Flight?

A discovery flight is usually a short flight with a certified instructor or professional pilot and includes your participation. If you’ve never flown, you might wonder what to expect.

Here are a few things to expect on a typical exploration flight.


Your journey of discovery usually begins with a pre-flight briefing. The flight instructor explains the flight plan, checks the weather, and informs you about the aircraft. You and your instructor will then take a safety walk around the aircraft, during which you can take a closer look at the aircraft and ask any questions you may have.


Before starting, the instructor goes through the checklist and starting procedures. You will find that the aircraft has two controls. Once you are at a safe altitude, the instructor will let you take control and guide you through most of the flight.

You will get a feel for how to steer the plane in straight and straight flight and learn how to turn, climb and descend. Once you are comfortable with this, the instructor can demonstrate even more advanced maneuvers, such as a steep turn or stall, during the class.


After landing, taxiing, and shutting down the aircraft, the instructor will talk to you about the experience and your job. Now is your chance to ask lots of questions about flying and get a feel for the teaching style and personality.

Discovery flights are great fun and allow you to experience what it is like to be a pilot and go sightseeing. However, they are meant to be a bit more structured than a tourist / scenic flight and give you an idea of ​​what to expect during flight training.

Oftentimes, the instructor goes through briefings with you on what it takes to become a pilot, training structures, various school aircraft, and much more. A voyage of discovery aims to make you feel well-informed and have fun doing what you (hopefully) want to do in the long term.

While taking a discovery flight, you can also expect the following;

It can be a small plane

Most discovery flights are carried out in Cessna 172, Piper Warrior aircraft, or some other similar aircraft. Most of the time, the aircraft is a single-engine propeller-driven aircraft with the instructor and the customer or student sitting in front of each other.

These aircraft typically have an output of 200 horsepower or less and fly between 100 and 150 knots. These planes are designed for flight training and are safe, reliable planes for discovery flights.

It will be casual

Some flight schools are more formal than others, but your pilot will generally be friendly and relaxed. A flight school is a learning environment so you may see other students and private pilots taking lessons, attending an elementary school class, or just hanging out and chatting with other pilots.

Your flight instructor will likely greet you personally, ask you a few questions to determine your level of interest, and then discuss the flight details with you.

You could participate

It’s voluntary, of course, but you will likely be allowed to fly the aircraft with the instructor coaching you. After takeoff, and when the instructor is maneuvered to a safe height above the ground to an area for you to practice in, he or she shows you how to make basic turns, climbs, and descents and lets you pilot the aircraft.

Depending on your interests, you may even be able to perform a private pilot maneuver or two. However, this always depends on your level of comfort. The instructor will ask you before giving you control of the plane.

Some people prefer to enjoy the view without touching the controls, which is perfectly fine.

A casual but professional preflight briefing

Just like on a passenger jet, the pilot or instructor will spend a few minutes explaining what will happen, where you will be flying to, and a game plan for the course of the flight. You will also receive a preflight safety briefing that explains how to use the doors and seat belts and where to find the sick bag if you need one.

There might be a few (small) bumps.

Turbulence is usually not a problem, as instructors usually avoid choppy weather on exploration flights. It’s no fun jumping around, even for experienced pilots, but even less so for someone who has never flown in a small plane before.

Discovery flights are mostly conducted on calm days, but turbulence is not entirely predictable. So don’t be alarmed if there are a few small bumps. It may be more or less turbulent than you expect, but your instructor wouldn’t pick you up in an unsafe state, and a small amount of turbulence is quite normal for light aircraft.

You will be wearing a headset

Pilots wear headsets to reduce cockpit noise and communicate clearly with each other, as well as other pilots flying in the area and air traffic control if necessary. You get a headset to wear. They are comfortable and allow you to hear and speak to the pilot and other passengers.

Don’t worry: your voice will not be heard over the radio by other pilots or ATC – the pilot uses a push-to-talk switch for this. When you speak into your headset microphone, only the pilot and all other passengers can be heard.

You can get air sick

You might not get sick, but you could. It is widespread for people to experience air sickness, especially on their first or second flight. Do not be ashamed if you do this. The combination of nerves, excitement, and a floating feeling can make anyone feel sick. Even experienced pilots can get queasy from time to time – this is just one of the side effects of flying. If you get sick, tell the pilot and he will contact you to the ground ASAP, where you will immediately feel better. And don’t be discouraged. Many student pilots are sick at first, but the more you fly, the faster your body adapts to the sensations. Most students suffer from air sickness during their first flights.

Find out what it takes to become a pilot

There won’t be a cheesy sales pitch, but expect your instructor to be happy to share the joy of flying with you. He or she can tell you more about what to expect during flight training, how to get a pilot’s license and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about flying.

However, they are not salespeople, so there are usually no awkward sales pitches. After all, instructors are usually paid regardless, and there is typically no bonus for enrolling a new student (although sometimes it does). Most instructors are really just looking forward to sharing the world of flying with others.

At least your instructor will likely tell you the next steps if you decide you want to come back for more flight.

See the local area

Yes, you can probably fly over to your house. This is a typical thing during a voyage of discovery. Local landmarks, lakes, cities, and towns can also be seen. When you have a specific location that you want to see from the air, just let your pilot know. If it is within range and not violating airspace restrictions, they are usually happy to be willing to do so.

Discovery flights typically last 1-2 hours

During a typical first flight, you’ll be around 15-20 minutes long, flying 30 minutes or an hour, and then schedule time for photos in front of the plane and chat with the pilot if you have any questions or make up your mind with the proceed to the next step and begin flight training. The entire experience typically lasts between one and two hours.

Most of all, expect fun

Discovery flights should be fun. It’s usually a low-key, relaxed flight where you see the sights, absorb flight elements, and learn a thing or two about flying an airplane. Take the time to enjoy it.


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